Saturday, March 24, 2012

Salmon With Ginger-Shiitake Sauce

  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3 oz. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small head garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 c. dry red wine
  • 1 T. garlic chives, chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 salmon steaks
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Long garlic chive shoots for garnish


  1. Heat 3 T. olive oil at medium-low in a large sauce pan.
  2. Add ginger and garlic. Cook until soft.
  3. Add 1/4 t. salt, soy sauce, and butter.
  4. When butter has melted, add mushrooms and cook gently for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add wine and raise heat to medium. Cook until sauce has been reduced and is thick.
  6. Add chopped chives and keep sauce warm while cooking fish.
  1. Heat 1 T. olive oil at medium-high in a large skillet.
  2. Just as the oil begins to smoke, add the salmon steaks.
  3. Cook steaks for 3 minutes. Turn and cook 5 more minutes.
  4. When steaks are done (flakes easily with a fork), transfer to plates. Spoon on sauce and top with long chive shoots for garnish.

Yield: 2 servings

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grasshoppers Pickup Number 23

This week's basket contained:
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 2 turnips
  • 1 bag Red Russian kale
  • 1 bag Mizuna lettuce
  • 1 bunch garlic chives
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 jar salsa

The salsa was a "customer appreciation" gift to those of us who stuck with Grasshoppers through their first winter of operation. I've had it before and it is most delicious. I add a healthy dose of Tabasco because that's who I am.

I think I'm going to make salads with only CSA veggies (lettuce, spinach, tomatoes) this time. Normally I would buy veggies at Meijer and combine them with my CSA goods.

The kale and turnips will (again) go into a greens-and-cornbread meal. I'm pretty sure I have some pork in the freezer that is a requisite for this dish.

As for the garlic chives, this is a stretch but I'm going to use them in a recipe with salmon. The idea is to create an Asian-type sauce for the sauteed salmon. I'm thinking along the lines of butter, olive oil, fresh ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, etc. It depends on what I have on-hand.

And here's a confession. I bought farm-raised salmon at Meijer this afternoon. They didn't have wild-caught salmon or tuna so it's not like I had a convenient alternative. I could have gone without or I could have had wild-caught salmon overnighted to my home at 4x the price per pound. My understanding is that farm-raised salmon is not unhealthful unless you're pregnant. (My last pregnancy test came back as "Male", so I'm good.) The problem is that farming salmon is detrimental to the environment. And, of course, farm-raised salmon is to wild-caught salmon as Tyson chicken is to free-range chicken. On the plus side the health benefits of eating salmon--even farm-raised salmon--trump any concerns about toxins in the fish. Yes, there are toxins, but the concentrations are  negligible... even in farm-raised salmon!

Bottom line, given an easy choice, I will always choose wild-caught salmon over farm-raised salmon. If wild-caught salmon is not available or is out of season I might buy farm-raised salmon. One thing for sure: I'm not going to pay $30 per pound plus shipping to have a whole salmon overnighted to me from Alaska.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Grasshoppers Pickup Number 22

This week's basket contained:
  • 1 bag of kale
  • 1 bag of watercress
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 turnips
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 small head Bibb lettuce
  • Corned beef

The kale and turnips are destined for a greens-and-cornbread dinner. Pork will be added.

The tomatoes and lettuce will go into a salad. I consider this a prompt to buy additional salad veggies: Romaine lettuce, radishes, a cucumber, and mushrooms. I already have carrots on hand. The head of Bibb lettuce in my basket is very small indeed--thus the necessity of augmenting it with organic Romaine.

I plan on cooking the corned beef with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. It would be cool to do this on St. Patrick's Day, but I'm going to on the road at least 9 hours after a CT show in North Carolina that day. For that reason, I'll probably do the corned beef this weekend rather than next.

A baked sweet potato makes a good side dish. Just add a tablespoon of butter and some freshly ground black pepper.

Watercress? I have no experience with. Perhaps it can be added to my salad. I don't know.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

World of Warcraft Crisis

I have 4 characters in World of Warcraft. I've just advanced the last of them, Megarid (Hunter), to level 85. Currently, level 85 is the maximum in WoW. Ka-chink, ka-chink, calculating.... Ah.

I can no longer work to advance the levels of my characters.

I've been working so long--something like 1.5 years--towards this state. Now I feel a bit lost.

There are certainly other things my characters can do. I've been pretty good about advancing their professional skills, but I could spend more time in that area. There are incidental goals like "obscure achievements" that I could go after.

The 2-ton gorilla in the room is the possibility of joining a Guild. How have I gone this long without testing the waters of Guild membership? Um... I'm borderline Aspie? Yeah, that's it. I do things alone, thank you very much.

But since I'm only borderline Aspie, doing stuff with other people is still a possibility. I'm pretty sure I'll take the leap and join a Guild. I can always jump right back out.

Another possibility is that I could finally get around to installing and playing Dragon Age 2 that I pre-ordered something like a year a go. It's still sitting around in shrink wrap.

Other possibilities: what if I actually used my evenings to do something productive? I could spend lots more time practicing guitar. I could get my Pro-Tools workstation operational. I could do recreational programming.

It's late. I'm tired and I'm hungry. I'll deal with this tomorrow.